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Summit COVID-19 trends point to possible tightening of restrictions

Visitation high over spring break with some unruly guests.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Colorado plans to eliminate the COVID-19 dial midway through next month and hand over control of restrictions to local governments, but Summit County residents and visitors shouldn’t expect things to open back up right away.

Officials discussed how to approach post-dial restrictions during the joint Board of Health meeting with the Summit Board of County Commissioners on Thursday afternoon, noting that once the dial is retired, the state likely will have some mandates in place as will the county. And while it’s unclear what exactly those restrictions might look like, officials emphasized a need to plan ahead so that businesses and residents would know what to expect.

“I think it’s important for our next few Board of Health meetings that we continue to talk about, ‘Well this is today, but here’s what’s coming up,’” Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence said. “Because I think it’s really important to prepare our community that on April 16, I certainly don’t think all of our restrictions are going away here in Summit County. I think that would be reckless and not adhering to best practices as far as public health.”

During the meeting, officials discussed whether to update the county’s existing public health order to match new state policies. Assistant county attorney Cameron Turpin said Summit County’s regulations are more restrictive than the state’s with regard to last call for alcohol sales, capacity for events and sports facilities, mask mandates, construction site procedures, and policies at restaurants and short-term rentals regarding contract tracing, party size and household limits.

The commissioners ultimately decided to keep local restrictions in place until at least mid-April.

> Watch video above: Vaccine eligibility expands to 2.5 million more Coloradans

RELATED: With most of its staff vaccinated, Summit schools weigh how to return more students to classrooms

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